On being afraid

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

My mate VIv really struck a chord with me today:

Everybody’s afraid. Of something. The future. The past. Our capability or inability; the voice in our head that says yes and the other one that says, no. Can I? Will I? Should I? Will I look foolish? Make a mistake? Be successful? Be too successful?

Once in a while, the planets align (well, it might just be clients in fact) and she and I get to work together, often sharing our experiences of facilitation with folks from some very different places and cultures. I think one of the most useful things we learn and relearn is the acknowledgment of the fear and the difficulty of the work. To deny that is to fall into the temptation of formulae and the delusion of best practice.

Paradoxically, when we accept the fear, it gets easier. I remember speaking to a client before a gig where the stakes felt very high. He said he realised my task was impossible. I quipped that I knew that, that’s why I was willing to have a go.

If that sounds a tad smug, let me say that much of the time I am a worrier and rate myself as at best a highly-functioning neurotic. I think the challenges of manaing myself as that kind of character probably help, rather than hinder, me in my work.

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